San Antonio residents live largely segregated by income, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center, My San Antonio.com
reports. In the last three decades, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas
have become the most economically segregated cities in the United
Wealthy people in San Antonio and its surrounding areas
are the most likely in the country to live among other wealthy people.
38 percent of San Antonio’s poor residents are in an area where a
majority are also poor, ranking it third on that end of the scale.
segregation used to be much more likely to be a problem in aging
industrial cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, but due to
the South and Southwest’s large population increases, Southern cities
are now even more economically segregated. In the last ten years, Texas
added over 4 million people, making it the fastest growing state in the
country. Roughly 50 percent of the people who came to Texas were from
other states and countries to work at low-skill, low-wage jobs.
are many downsides to economic segregation and it affects economic
development, education and other public policies. As a political
professor at SMU puts it, “the detriment to the wealthy living among
themselves is that they have less and less understanding of the
real-life problems faced by the poor, what it means to be poor.”
Low-income people who are pushed into poor neighborhoods find it harder
to access good schools, jobs, and transportation and this disadvantage
can continue for generations.
Although Congress has sought to
address economic segregation through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
program, which gives developers tax rebates for building affordable
housing in wealthier neighborhoods, most of the affordable housing
developed in Texas ended up in poor neighborhoods, which simply made the
problem worse. In Bexar County, none of the properties developed with
the tax credit were built in upscale neighborhoods.